Trip report: Namibia and Botswana custom tour (Aug 2010) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Josh Engel and Charley Hesse. This custom tour had an itinerary similar to our set-departure tour.

This trip produced highlights too numerous to list. We saw virtually all of the specialties we sought, including escarpment specialties like Rockrunner, White-tailed Shrike, Hartlaub’s Francolin, Herero Chat and Violet Wood-hoopoe and desert specialties like Dune and Gray’s Larks and Rueppell’s Korhaan. We cleaned up on Kalahari specialties, and added bonuses like Bare-cheeked and Black-faced Babblers, while also virtually cleaning up on swamp specialties, like Pel’s Fishing-Owl and Rufous-bellied Heron and Slaty Egret. Of course, with over 40 species seen, mammals provided many memorable experiences as well, including a lioness catching a warthog at one of Etosha’s waterholes, only to have it stolen away by a male. Elsewhere, we saw a herd of Hartmann’s Mountain Zebras in the rocky highlands Bat-eared Foxes in the flat Namib desert on the way to the coast; otters feeding in front of our lodge in Botswana; a herd of Sable Antelope racing in front of the car in Mahango Game Reserve. This trip is also among the best for non-animal highlights, and we stayed at varied and wonderful lodges, eating delicious local food and meeting many interesting people along the way.

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